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Everything posted by LSJ-8

  1. I use Goodreads all the time. I love this website. There are some users who write out well articulated, thought out reviews of books (sometimes with spoilers, sometimes without) and then there are users (like me) who simply give it a rating and move on. I use it a great deal to check out "the hot new books" being released to see if they worth the read or if a series is coming to an end to get an idea of how it ended, before I pick up the book.
  2. This is why I take everything I read on the internet with a grain of salt. Some people think that they are "experts" but really have no idea what they are talking about. The internet is a dangerous place to get information, because information spreads so quickly on the internet and if it is false information.... That being said, I agree with Barburra that it happens to everyone, not just authors.
  3. I don't think that any degree is worthless, it just depends on what you do with it. For her line of work, a degree in English Literature is smart. She is an actress from the United Kingdom. The U.K. seems to love their literary history (as they should) and many, many films out of the U.K. (and even the U.S.) are based in English literature and/or history. For the average person, I think a degree in English Literature is only beneficial if they intend to teach at a university level.
  4. Forgive my ignorance in this matter, but does it then make it easier to learn French if you already know Spanish, because the way of speaking is similar? I have heard people (and I don't know whether this is correct or not) say that once you know Spanish, you can pick up Portuguese in a heartbeat, since they are so close. Would say that this is accurate or not at all?
  5. As I have mentioned in previous threads and my introduction, my three year old and I are learning Spanish. I'm looking for some good, kid friendly cartoons in Spanish. I didn't want to just google or youtube them, because I am not fluent (not even close) and I want trustworthy materials. We've watched a few of his favorite DVDs in Spanish, but I'm hoping to find something that is spoken in Spanish that is indicative of the Spanish and/or Mexican culture.
  6. Thank you. We only live a few hours from Mexico, so obviously our emphasis on what they use in South America. However, we would like to take a trip to Europe in a few years (when the kids are older) and I was wondering what differences we would run into. As a Native Spanish Speaker do you find the differences easy or difficult to contend with? I'm a native English speaker and when I was in Europe, they spoke British English and I was able to quickly figure out what someone was saying (or trying to say), even though British English is different from American English. I will probably take you up on your offer for questions.
  7. This is exactly why my children (ages 3 and 10 months) are in the process of learning Spanish and ASL now, rather than later. By the time children are between the ages of 6 to 8, their brain has been wired for one language if that is all they have been exposed to. The brain automatically filters out any sounds that are attached to their language. This is why adults have such a difficult time learning a second language. Their brain is wired to filter out and ignore those sounds. Children who learn a second language are also able to pick up a third, fourth, etc. much easier (even if they study later in life) because they have exercised that portion of the brain required for language acquisition.
  8. We are teaching my son Spanish and are planning to move into letting him watch Mexican cartoon and his favorite cartoons translated into Spanish, once he has a better grasp of the language. I've subbed in a few ESL classrooms and every time I have subbed the plans have been the same: Watching a movie in English.
  9. I absolutely adore To Kill a Mockingbird. I taught this book to my 8th grade students and is always a big hit. They learn about racism in the deep south, get some information about life during the Great Depression, and is filled with so many great character lessons... without beating you over the head with them. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone.
  10. My son (age 3) and I are in the process of learning Spanish together. We've been watching the Little Pim DVDs (and listening to the CDs). My son repeats what Pim says and has only just now start to apply it to his life, so we're doing good so far. I figure we'll stick with the Little Pim DVDs for a while and then switch to maybe watching his favorite movies in Spanish, instead of in English.
  11. There are a lot of language learning apps available for my iphone, but I'm looking for one that is kid friendly and focuses on Spanish. The free ones are okay, but not really what I'm looking for. I would hate to pay for an app that didn't live up to its expectations. Does anyone have any experience with kid friendly Language learning apps and can you recommend one?
  12. I would like to pick up German again, unfortunately I don't think it is in the cards for the near future. I haven't met a single German speaking individual (aside from the occasional foreign exchange student) in our area. Where we live Spanish is pretty predominant and I think it is important for us to put our emphasis there. I still have all of my German language learning tools and am unwilling to part with them. I do wish to return to Germany at some point, so I may have need for them again... someday.
  13. For me, this is very true. I spoke German pretty well (couldn't read or write it to save my life) when I lived in Germany. I was able to get around well enough. However, it has been about 7 (maybe 8?) years since I was immersed in German culture and now I can only count to ten. :/ I couldn't ask for directions or order a meal to save my life. It's sad.
  14. My son (who is 3) and I are learning Spanish together. We live in the Southwestern United States and I was wondering what the differences are between Mexican Spanish and Spanish that is spoken in Spain? We live only a few hours from Mexico, so obviously our focus is on the Mexican dialect and grammar. However, I would like to be aware (and have my son be aware) of the differences in Spanish. I know a great deal about the differences between American English and British English (as I am an American in love with British culture, literature, and TV). The differences in spellings and grammar are outstanding! I'm making the assumption that Spanish is much the same way. Is there anything in particular I should look out for? (I would hate to offend anybody) or does anyone know of any resources that cover such material? Any help would be much appreciated.
  15. Good Evening, one and all! My handle is LSJ-8. You can call me LSJ or SJ if you would like. LSJ stands for Lady Sarah Jane and 8 is my favorite number. I am a stay at home mom and part time substitute teacher. I live the southwestern United States. I spent six months studying aboard in Germany. I knew German well enough while I lived there to get around, to ask questions, order food, and apologize (a lot!). That was eight years ago. Now... sadly, I know very little of it. However, I haven't used it, so I lost it. My children are 3 and 10 months. My 3 year old knows approximately a dozen American Sign Language signs and my 10 month old knows two. (We teach them 5 at a time). I taught/am teaching my children ASL to make it easier to communicate with me and my husband. It has been very successful and my son loves to continue learning new signs. My 3 year old and I are also learning Spanish together. I am not a fluent speaker, but I would like my son to be. We live only a few hours from the Mexican border and working in the public schools it is very difficult (for me and other individuals) when I don't speak Spanish.
  16. Is sign language universal As everyone above mentioned, it is not universal. It isn't even universal in the same country. My son (3) knows about a dozen ASL (American Sign Language) signs and my daughter 10 months currently knows two (we teach five at a time). I decided to teach my kids to sign because it made communication much easier when they are young. I'm a big fan of the show Switched at Birth on ABC Family. Several of the characters is deaf and when I was reading articles about the background of the show, I learned that sign language isn't even consistent within the United States! Just as there are different dialects of speech in various parts of the U.S., there are different kinds of signs in ASL. The ASL coach for the show actually had to coach a lot of the actors and actresses who are deaf and who do use ASL to use one common dialect, so as not to confuse the viewers.
  17. Necessity and common decency. I've always wanted to travel, so decided to do a study aboard in Germany one semester. I needed to learn the language. While I was in no means fluent in German (and couldn't read it to save my life) I knew enough to get around the country and ask for help if I needed to. (I also learned how to say "I'm sorry" really, really well.) At the moment, my son (he's 3) and I are learning Spanish together. We live in the Southwestern U.S. about three hours from the Mexican border. Spanish is a big part of our daily lives and unfortunately, nobody in my family speaks it. My son also knows about a dozen ASL (American Sign Language) signs, that he was taught when he was an infant. My daughter is currently learning ASL (she is 10 months) and can sign for "milk" and "more". My husband and I taught our son ASL before he learned to speak and I have found it to be incredibly helpful for with both children.
  18. My entire weekend in Belgium. :shy: I'm from the U.S. and spent a semester studying aboard in Germany. I knew enough German to get around (ask for the check, apologize profusely, etc.). I spent most of my travels with friends who were great English, German, and French speakers. I took a weekend trip to Belgium (alone) and barely managed to stumble through the weekend. The worse part of it was when I arrived in Brussels and asked a cab driver to take me a hotel (in German and he gave me a funny look, because - in my ignorance - I guess they speak French?), laughed at me, and pointed across the street. My hotel was across the street from the hotel station. :confused: I didn't realize that there were two train stations in Brussels. I had been scheduled to arrive in Brussels the night before, but due to a worker's strike, I was unable to get there until the next morning, and the new train route, dropped me off at a different train station. I had never been so mortified, embarrassed, and more like an ignorant American in my entire life.
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